CNA Classes in California Nurse Aide Requirements

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CNA Classes in California offer certified nursing assistant training to get a California nurse aide license. Nurse aides in California require to complete state approved CNA training before taking state exam for the license. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) oversees the nurse aide program. Candidates who pass the exam upon completion of training and meet CDPH's eligibility requirements can apply to be listed as a certified nursing assistant in California Nursing Aide Registry. CNA license in California is valid for two years.

Accredited certified nursing assistant programs in California provide the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in nurse aide career. Students learn common tasks such as how to measure patient's blood pressure and temperature. Certified nursing assistants in California must complete forty-eight (48) hours of In-Service Training within two years of certification period. They must complete a minimum of twelve (12) hours in each year. The CDPH-approved online computer training program meets the twenty-four (24) hours training requirement. Online CNA classes are also available to meet this requirement.

CNA Certification California Requirements

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • Provide a physical exam report.
  • Criminal record clearance of all certified nursing assistant.
  • Completion of 150 training hours - Fifty (50) theory training hours, and 100 clinical training hours.
  • Obtain CNA training from State approved training centers.
  • Complete forty-eight (48) hours of In-Service Training within two years to renew of CNA Certification.
  • Two hours of orientation and five hours of In-Service training on a yearly basis.

California CNA Salary, Nurse Aide Jobs and Career Advancement

California is the most populous state in the United States. The demand for the certified nursing assistants continues to grow due to rising elderly population. CNA salary depends on experience and job location. The yearly average nurse aide salary in California is $30,000. Salary is higher for those who complete nurse aide training and become a certified nursing assistant. Experienced certified nurse assistants in California earn over $45,000 yearly. Nurse aide is an excellent entry-level medical career choice as it requires minimum training to get a license. It takes less than six months of training to enter into the profession. Nurse aides have limited career advancement, but those who want to advance their career in the medical field gain valuable skills and knowledge being a nursing assistant. With few additional years of college education and experience, one can upgrade a career to high paying professions such as a medical assistant, RN (Registered Nurse) and LPN (Licensed Practical/Professional Nurse) to name few. These professions have the potential to earn over $80,000.

How to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in California?

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, one must pass the state nurse aide license exam. Candidates who are planning to take the test must complete 150 hours CNA training program, be at least 16 years of age, provide a physical exam report and have a criminal record clearance. Training programs are usually 3-12 weeks long, and provide theoretical and clinical knowledge. Some schools also offer online CNA classes. Check local hospitals and nursing homes in your area that may offer free nursing assistant classes. Nursing schools in California require students to complete background test, drug test and physical test before enrolling in nursing assistant training programs. Since all candidates must have the background clearance done to take the state competency exam for the license, doing so in advance accelerates the process to take the test.  Taking CNA training online also helps to complete the training requirement quicker. Some schools also provide medical check and immunization service.

State Approved CNA Schools in California

California has over 1000 approved Facility Programs (in-house), and Non-Facility Programs to take nurse aide classes and training. Nursing schools in California offer online CNA classes and training programs. Schools that offer nursing assistant program such as City College of San Francisco, American Career College, University of Phoenix (Southern California, Sacramento and Bay Area), Everest College and the Institute of Technology (Roseville, Modesto, Clovis and Redding) offer morning, evening and online classes. These schools also offer other state accredited nursing and medical programs. Certified nursing assistants looking to advance their health profession career can continue their further education by taking advanced nursing degree classes from one of these nursing schools in California. Programs range from AA to BS degree. Nursing schools also offer accelerated ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing) and BDN (Bachelors Degree in Nursing) programs.

All major cities in California offer CNA training programs. There are several schools that offer CNA classes in Los Angeles area. San Francisco Bay Area, Sand Diego, Sacramento and Fresno also have nursing schools, community colleges and nursing homes that offer nurse aide training courses that are affordable. Some hospitals also offer classes that meet the state requirement. The nursing assistant courses offered at community colleges and nursing homes are the least expensive among others. Students enrolled in a nursing assistant program offered at approved nursing schools in California have the opportunity to advance their medical career by taking additional classes.

CNA Schools in California - General Admission Requirements

The state law of California allows the CNA-wannabes to start taking nurse aide classes once they are 15 years of age. However, the candidates must be at least 16 years old to take California CNA certification test. Some CNA schools and colleges also require CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification from prospective students before enrolling in the program.

The certified nursing assistant applicants must take fingerprints and have a criminal background check clearance before taking the State license exam. The applicants need current immunization record. They must pass a physical health examination and take TB and Hepatitis B test.

All certified nursing assistant applicants must attend mandatory nurse aide orientation program. They require to pass english reading and writing test to start training.

Schools that offer Accredited CNA Training Programs in California

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is the largest community college in San Francisco, Bay Area. CCSF has over 10 locations throughout the city. The CNA training program at CCSF is a semester long. The program costs about $200 for state residents. Those who complete the course qualify to take California CNA Certification exam.

Contact Information

City College of San Francisco
Southeast Center
Address: 1800 Oakdale @ Phelps
Phone No: (415) 550-4344
Online Address:

Allan Hancock College

Allan Hancock College lies in Santa Maria, California. It provides a comprehensive nursing assistant certification program for the interested nursing students.

Allan Hancock College CNA Program

The Allan Hancock's CNA training program is 16 units long, and it can be completed in one semester, which is just 6 months. The training classes meet four days a week. CNA classes include both theoretical courses and the clinical skills training.

Allen Hancock nursing assistant program offers a flexible schedule. Both day and evening classes are available. Nurse aide program at Allen Hancock accepts only 30 students in each spring and fall semester. Students who complete CNA classes and training program can take California CNA certification exam to practice as a certified nursing assistant in California.

Contact Information

Address: 800 S. College Dr., Santa Maria, CA 93454
Phone No.: (805) 922-6966
Online Address:

American River College

American River College is another school in Sacramento area that offers CNA classes in California. This comprehensive nursing assistant training program prepares students for California nurse aide competency exam. The program is state approved and offers theoretical and clinical training at the same facility.

American River College CNA program is 198 credit hours long. The 63 credit hours cover theoretical classes that include nursing courses materials such as patient care, patient rights, nutrition, emergency procedures and infection control. The remaining 135 credit hours are clinical classes that offer hands-on training on the patient care techniques.

Contact Information

Address: 4700 College Oak Dr., Sacramento, CA 95841
Phone No.: (916) 484-8254
Online Address: